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The Kid Should See This

Charles and Ray Eames’ Powers of Ten (1977)

Powers of Ten, written and directed by Charles and Ray Eames, was first released in 1968 and later re-released by the Eames Office in 1977. It was based on the 1957 book Cosmic View: The Universe in Forty Jumps by Kees Boeke. A summary of the film:

Powers of Ten takes us on an adventure in magnitudes. Starting at a picnic by the lakeside in Chicago, this famous film transports us to the outer edges of the universe. Every ten seconds we view the starting point from ten times farther out until our own galaxy is visible only as a speck of light among many others. Returning to Earth with breathtaking speed, we move inward- into the hand of the sleeping picnicker – with ten times more magnification every ten seconds. Our journey ends inside a proton of a carbon atom within a DNA molecule in a white blood cell.

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Powers of Ten is culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant, as noted by the Library of Congress, thanks to its simplicity, design, and the perception-altering nature of viewing it.

Related reading at the Eames Office includes Thinking big and small: Tools for teaching and understanding the importance of scale.

Related watching: The Ring of Truth and everything Eames.

Thanks, Ariel Churi.


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